Activities in the field of R&D are carried out by economic entities of three types – universities, state scientific institutions and enterprises. Financing of R&D in universities and public institutions is carried out mainly by the state, in state enterprises – with significant participation of the private sector, in private enterprises – almost entirely by private capital.
According to andyeducation, there are 64 universities in the country, 51 of which are public. At the head of state scientific institutions (there are several hundred of them) is the National Research Council, which manages 15 sectoral committees and agencies. Responsibility for R&D and higher education lies with the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific and Technological Research. Many other ministries have their own research institutions. To coordinate their activities, sectoral plans are being developed, but in general this work is very fragmented. Interdepartmental relations are regulated by law or at the initiative of ministries. Doctoral studies have been introduced since 1983, and the state participates in financing the training of higher scientific personnel with the help of research contracts.
The share of R&D spending in Italy’s GDP fell from 1.3% to 1.0% in 1990–2001, with almost 2/3 of public spending and 70% of private spending falling on only three regions – Lazio (Rome), Lombardy, and Piedmont. Technological policy is traditionally based on the method of “complementary innovation” (purchase and adaptation of foreign innovations). The technological balance of the country is reduced to a negative balance.
In the public sector, there is a large concentration on fundamental research, in the private sector – on applied research. There are many tiny research centers in industry, but approx. 50% of R&D spending is carried out by two dozen large companies. Cooperation is widely used in the SME sector; there are government-owned Applied Research Fund and Technological Innovation Fund dedicated to technology transfer to SMEs.
10% of the adult population (25-64 years old) has higher education. There are many weaknesses in the system of higher education, the main ones being a large dropout of students (only less than half of them complete their classes), stretching the deadlines for obtaining a diploma, and a shortage of engineers among graduates. In this regard, accelerated (3 years) programs for training personnel for industry have been introduced.
Compulsory education (9 years) includes primary and 1st stage of secondary education. After that, a certificate is issued for the right to enter a secondary school of the 2nd stage (lyceums and institutes) with a duration of study of 4 or 5 years. The certificate obtained at the end of the 5th year of study makes it possible to enter the university, for those studying 4 years, another year of preparatory classes is required. A variation of the university is the polytechnic school, which graduates specialists with a training period of 2-3 to 4-6 years. There are evening courses for working students. The training of personnel for industry covers young people up to 18 years of age (school, vocational training and industrial practice). This system is under the care of the local authorities, who issue the certificate of fitness.
Enrollment in primary and secondary education is 100%, secondary 2nd stage – 85% (equally for male and female youth). According to surveys, after 3 years after receiving a high school diploma, approx. 45% of graduates work in production; 3 years after receiving a university degree, more than 80% are working.
In recent years, the use of informatics has been growing rapidly in the country. The number of families with access to the Internet is 32% (the average for the EU is 37.7%). The share of e-commerce reached 20% (35.6%).
The culture of Italy has absorbed many traditions and influences. Fine art, which gave the world dozens of famous masterpieces, originates in the monuments of the first centuries of Christianity and memories of the art of the Ancient World. The birth of a literary language based on the Tuscan dialect dates back to the 13th-14th centuries. and is associated with the work of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio – the founders of European humanism. National science dates back to the 12th century. – the foundation of the first university in Europe in Bologna; a little later there were universities in Padua, Naples, Rome, Pisa, Pavia and Ferrara.
In the 15th century Italy (Florence, Lombardy, Venice, Mantua, Ferrara, Urbino, and in the early 16th century Rome, under Popes Julius II and Leo X) is at the head of the European Renaissance. It was the first country captured by the scientific Renaissance, which found expression in the activities of the Florentine Platonic Academy, founded by M. Ficino. The ideas of this school – the central position of man in the universe, the boundlessness of knowledge and creative power of man as a co-creator of divine beauty and the revelation of its ideal essence – received practical implementation in architecture, painting, sculpture, literature in Italy and had a direct impact on the further evolution of the aesthetic and philosophical thought of Europe..
The architecture of this period is associated with the work of the Florentine masters Brunelleschi, Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini. In painting, along with Florentine (Botticelli), a number of schools developed – Padua, Umbrian, etc. The geniuses of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo combined art with scientific research, including works on mathematics and astronomy, which laid the foundations for the development of engineering and military art and mechanics. This tradition led several decades later to the creation of the national Academy of Sciences (Lincei, 1603).
From Ser. In the 16th century, in the era of the Counter-Reformation and foreign occupation of Italian lands, a dramatic period began in the development of literature and science, marked by the names of Machiavelli, Vasari, Ariosto, Tasso, Campanella, the founder of experimental science Galileo. Fine arts, and soon literature, enter a period of decline (the Venetian school of painting remains at its best for the longest time), but at the same time, the bright development of folk theater and musical creativity begins. Italy becomes the birthplace of opera and the art of “bel canto”, which has reached unsurpassed heights here. At the turn of the 17th-18th centuries. instrumental music developed, in which the Venetian and Neapolitan schools stood out (notation also first appeared in Italy – its creator was the monk G. d’Arezzo in the 11th century). In the 18th century opera and theater (Goldoni, Gozzi) dominate the artistic life of the country. The scientific tradition also continues (the works of the historian and philosopher Vico, the experimental physicists Galvani and Volta).
The rise of literary and artistic creativity is associated with the period of the struggle for national unification (the Risorgimento) in the 19th century. Opera works by Verdi, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Manzoni’s prose, Leopardi’s poetry entered the golden fund of world art. Italian scientists 2nd floor. 19th century made a significant contribution to the development of mathematics, chemistry, electrical engineering, physics. At the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. Pirandello’s dramaturgy arose.
20th century marked by the emergence of Italian cinema (the highest achievements are the “neorealism” of the first post-war years and left-wing political cinema at the turn of the 1960s and 70s), as well as many innovations in literature, painting, sculpture and music (futurism, naturalism, modernism). In the field of the humanities, he promoted the world-famous philosophers Croce, the sociologists Pareto and Gramsci, and in the field of the natural sciences, the outstanding physicist Fermi, who worked in exile in the United States and was the first to carry out a nuclear chain reaction in 1942. A century full of drama brought to life the idea of creating the Club of Rome – an association of scientists from different countries dealing with global problems of human development.
The rich artistic traditions of the country continue in folk art, primarily in crafts (ceramics, decorative fabrics, carpets, art glass, jewelry, wickerwork and wood products, household utensils, etc.), developed everywhere. The folk musical culture is diverse. One of the favorite national traditions is the carnival. In mass culture, sports, especially football, and pop songwriting have gained immense popularity. The Venice Biennale, the world’s largest contemporary art festival, the Venice Film Festival, and the San Remo Pop Song Contest have acquired a high international status.